City of Bolivar, Polk County speak out on flash flood damage

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 6:14 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Flash floods in Bolivar damaged multiple houses and flooded roads in Polk County after the area received four inches of rain Saturday afternoon.

“The flooding we had on Saturday was not normal,” said Bolivar resident Drew Perry.

Perry says he witnessed cars trying to get through flooded roads.

Officials do not advise this and urge to “turn around and don’t drown.”

“The video I was taking were big trucks trying to get through the water. I was a bit worried because rushing water can float your car. I was trying to warn others,” said Perry.

KY3 asked the city of Bolivar what it is going to do to help residents and asked if they were prepared enough for the storm. According to the city, most of the houses impacted sit outside city limits.

“Some of the residents that were affected were just outside the city limits. The city does water sewer at these spots but as far as water runoff, drainage issues, and things like that with DNR they are outside city limits. The county does not have any a zoning or or rules for water drainage,” said Brett Watkins Fire Chief and city of Bolivar Emergency Management.

Watkins explained the residents outside of city limits have to rely on subdivision rules.

“It is really up to each individual subdivision or area to manage that because there are no county rules that would apply for for monitoring and managing the water as as it would happen with like a storm like this,” said Watkins.

The city explained it already has multiple precautions put in place for flooding.

“We have water basins, water storage and we follow in that are zones for new developments,” said Watkins.

The residents outside of the Bolivar city limits are turning to the county for help and Polk County is stepping in for assistance.

“The county is trying to help these people. Some of the people are not in the floodplain so they don’t have the insurance that most people have if they live in the floodplain,” said Rick Davis the Polk County Emergency Management director.

Davis says he is reaching out to Region D with SEMA is going to help organize financial help through non-profits to help aid the damage.

“We do not have planning zoning in the county and they just have it in the city. Without zoning you can not get that much rain without having some type of damage throughout somewhere,” said Davis.

Polk County Emergency Management wants you to reach out if you were affected.

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